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Take a Hike: 5 parks to take a scenic seasonal stroll

Regina Fox

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The changing of the leaves and crisp air make autumn one of the most exciting times of the year in Ohio. The reds, oranges, and yellows bring city streets to life and make waterfronts even more stunning. You may catch glimpses of the fall foliage during the hustle of your everyday life, but I encourage you to take time to stop and smell the roses, or rather, stop and see the leaves.

Below are five Metro Parks where you can soak up the season.

Inniswood Metro Gardens
940 S Hempstead Rd, Westerville

This botanical garden and nature preserve in Westerville is home to more than 2,000 plant species including dozens of different tree types bursting with reds, yellows, and greens.

Check out the splash of colors at Inniswood Metro Gardens 😍

Posted by Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks on Saturday, October 26, 2019

Blendon Woods Metro Park
4265 E Dublin Granville Rd, Columbus

Blendon Woods contains spectacular stream-cut ravines with exposed ripple rock sandstone and open fields to give hikers a spectacular view of the surrounding maple- and hickory-studded forests.

New favorite spot to admire fall color – Thoreau Lake at Blendon Woods Metro Park 😍 Photo: Craig Gordon

Posted by Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks on Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Walnut Woods Metro Park
6723 Lithopolis Rd, Groveport

Walnut Woods features 1,170-acres of woodlands and fields, bordered by Walnut Creek to the north. The Tall Pines Area features dramatic stands of pines and sweetgum trees, and the Buckeye Area has long rows of old nursery trees such as serviceberry, crab apple and red maples that look exceptional this time of year. 

Find your solitude at in the Tall Pines area at Walnut Woods Metro Park 🌲Photo: Josh Mund

Posted by Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks on Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park
1775 Darby Creek Dr, Galloway

The subtle rolling hills of Battelle Darby Creek create a beautiful landscape of cascading fall colors. Scatter some bison in the foreground and you’ve got a regular Bob Ross masterpiece before you!

Highbanks Metro Park
9466 Columbus Pike, Lewis Center

Trees heavy with colorful leaves hang over the scenic Olentangy State Scenic River during the fall months, just begging for you to snap the perfect nature photo.

If you haven't ventured out to the Olentangy River recently- this picture should convince you to!Hop on the Scenic River trail and check out the beautiful fall colors. Photo credit: Anita McWhorter

Posted by Highbanks Metro Park on Thursday, October 17, 2019

When I'm not weaving a beautiful tapestry of words, I'm likely digging through jewels and vinyls at an antique shop near you.

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Things To Do

Brick by Brick: Lego popup bar is the ultimate nostalgia trip

614now Staff

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With playsets encompassing everything from Harry Potter to Star Wars and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Legos remain a go-to for kids of all ages. Now, the colorful little blocks are preparing for their greatest team-up of all—with booze, of course!

A new popup event called "The Brick Bar" is bringing the fun of Legos to a bar near you for an exclusive 2-day engagement this March.

Bringing over 1 million blocks to the party, the event organizers will transform The Kitchen at 231 E Livingston Ave. with unique lego sculptures, as well as an abundance of blocks for people to shape into their own creations. Prizes for the best builders, DJs, and a ping-pong table (built entirely from Lego bricks, of course) are also in the mix for your nostalgia-driven enjoyment.

For ticket information, dates, and more, visit The Brick Bar Eventbrite page or follow them on Facebook.

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Things To Do

Hit Your Peak: 3 worth-the-drive ski slopes near Columbus

Asa Herron

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The cursed Ohio Winter Monster has made its presence known to all with its 5pm sunsets, snow storms, and seasonal depression for all. How are you going to fight back against the gloom this year? It may seem like it’s impossible to do fun things with your friends or to stay active in the winter, but I’m here to tell you that not all hope is lost. Finding a new hobby is a great way to kick your winter woes to the curb and start the new decade on a good foot.

Skiing can be a great way to casually exercise with friends and resuscitate your serotonin levels. Here are three high quality places to ski within driving distance of Columbus for you to check out.

MAD RIVER MOUNTAIN

Located in Zanesfield, Mad River Mountain is about an hour's drive northwest of Columbus. They have the most reasonable prices of all the nearby ski resorts. Plus, their on-property bar, The Loft, has 12 taps of craft beers on rotation to add a little more fun to the night. Mad River is open until 1 a.m. on Fridays, too, so you’re getting a full Friday night of flurries.

Mad River is home to over 20 trails (spanning 3.9 miles) and four terrain parks making it the largest ski resort in Ohio. They also bolster ten ski lifts (the most in Ohio) and are tied with Snowtrails for the largest vertical drop in the state with their 300 foot slope. An added perk of Mad River is that they just built a new $6.2 million facility in 2016 to replace the space they lost to a fire in 2015. Plus, most of their trails are designated “easy” difficulty. Mad River has everything you need to have a relaxing, affordable day of skiing.

Details on hours and pricing can be found at www.skimadriver.com.

SNOWTRAILS

Founded in 1961, Snowtrails is Ohio’s oldest ski resort. It is located in Mansfield, so also about an hour drive north. This resort is only slightly more expensive, with lift rates starting at $31 for midweek evenings and $52 for all-day on the weekends, with skis, boots, and pole rentals are $37. If there’s one day this month that you visit Snowtrails, let it be January 25 for their mid-season party. Get ready for an outdoor DJ, a custom built snowbar, and a fireworks show 30 minutes after the slopes close for the night. Not into skiing? No problem! The party is free and open to the public, so let your expert friends hit the slopes while you hit the spirits at the snow bar.

Snowtrails is the second largest resort in the state with six ski lifts and 3.3 miles of trails. The majority of their trails are designated “intermediate” difficulty, so more experienced skiers will enjoy their time here.

More information can be found at www. snowtrails.com.

BOSTON MILLS & BRANDYWINE

Boston Mills & Brandywine is the farthest ski resort from Columbus on this list, but great for a full weekend away. This quaint resort is in Peninsula, OH is a two hour drive from Central Ohio. Their pricing is $40 after 3:30 p.m. and $45 for an all-day pass. Staying another night? Come back on Saturday for $5 Late Nights admission from 8:00 PM to 1:00 AM.

Boston Mill & Brandywine ski resort is known for being especially conducive to beginning skiers. They offer high quality lessons and will walk you through the process. This is the place to go if you have “stupid” questions about skiing, or just want to tube. However, they also appeal to veteran skiers as the majority of their 18 trails are designated “advanced”. Despite the high quantity of trails, this resort is much smaller than the other two, with only 1.2 miles of skiable trails, and their largest vertical drop being 264 feet. But for these prices? Could definitely be worth the trip.

Learn more about Boston Mills & Brandywine at www.bmbw.com.

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Arts & Culture

Watch: “World’s largest mural” in Short North is more than meets the eye

Regina Fox

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At a glance, "The Journey AR Mural" adorning the Graduate Columbus hotel in Short North is stunning. Look a little harder, and it actually comes to life.

Standing at over 107 feet tall and over 11,000 square feet of augmented reality, "The Journey AR Mural," is the world's largest AR mural, offering technology that superimposes a computer-generated image on a user's view of the real world, thus providing a composite view.

The gaily-painted snapdragons, hibiscus, Easter lilies, and hummingbirds bloom and fly when viewed through the Journey AR Mural app (free for iPhone and Android). Watch the murals come to life in the video below.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B7PRvBxpBkI/

Los Angeles-based artists Ryan Sarfati and Eric Skotnes (going by “Yanoe” and “Zoueh," respectively) are the creatives behind the project.

In an interview with Short North Arts District, Skotnes revealed he was inspired to take on the project after learning that Columbus is home to the second largest population of Somali immigrants in the country—he hopes the murals symbolize strength and prosperity for its viewers.

To learn more about The Journey AR Mural, visit shortnorth.org.

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